Do you have a Coversure Salonsure insurance policy underwritten by Covea for your salon or barbershop? If so, you must follow new rules to make sure you will be covered if you need to make a claim. This blog post covers: 

Contact Coversure 

If you need more information about your Coversure policy, call 0800 458 8181 or email


Allergy testing

Allergy alert tests and the COVID vaccine 

We are not aware of any scientific evidence that supports any of the following rumours:  

  • A colour treatment or allergy alert test will have an effect on the COVID vaccine.  
  • The covid vaccine will have an effect on a colour treatment or allergy alert test.  
  • A set amount of time needs to pass between having a hair colour/allergy alert test and a vaccination.  
  • Clients are more likely to have an allergic reaction if they have had a covid vaccine.  

However, we know that despite the lack of scientific evidence, these rumours continue to circulate. 

Best practice 

  • Explain to your clients that there is no scientific evidence to support these rumours.  
  • Some manufacturers have provided specific covid-related guidance and this should always be followed. 
  • Some clients may be more nervous about having treatments or services close to the time of their vaccination, so they may wish to postpone their appointment.   
  • Clients who feel unwell after the vaccination should postpone their appointment until they are better. 
  • Always carry out allergy alert and industry tests following manufacturer’s instructions and protocols before a client’s first service following lockdown. 
  • Allergy alert tests must be carried out at least 48 hours before the client’s appointment for the service.  


When do the new rules start? 

The new rules apply to:

  • Coversure policies renewed after 1 January 2021.
  • New Coversure policies taken out after 1 January 2021.

Why have these new rules been introduced by Coversure? 

Insurance claims and large payouts have been on the rise and Coversure wants to make sure it can defend claims and reduce these large payouts where possible. 

What are the new Coversure rules? 

The new rules include:

  • Allergy alert testing.
  • Industry tests for bleaching and lightening.
  • Consultations.
  • Backwash requirements.
  • Staff training and qualifications.
  • Saturday staff and assistants.
  • Apprentices. 

See more on these below: 

Allergy alert testing 

You must carry out an allergy alert test on existing clients every six months (previously, this was every 12 months). Please note: you must follow the manufacturer's instructions/protocols if they state that allergy alert tests are required more often than every six months. You must comply with this or your Coversure insurance will not cover you.

You must always carry out an allergy alert test if you change:

  • The product/brand.
  • The manufacturer. 

Written records 

You must keep a written record of every test for at least six years. Each written record must be signed by the client.  

 There are a range of patch test kits available.

Please check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.

The NHBF Trade Directory includes details of the patch test kits that are approved by Coversure for use by policy holders. 


Find out more about allergy alert testing and insurance including the 48-hour rule, under-16s, using different brands/products and applying different shades of colour.  

Industry tests: bleaching and lightening services 

  • Recognised industry tests must be carried out before every service or treatment on both new and existing clients. 
  • You must keep a written record of every test for at least six years. Each written record must be signed by the client.  


  • You must carry out a full consultation before starting any service or treatment that uses chemicals such as colour, bleach, lightener, perm or relaxer. The consultation must include an assessment of the condition of the hair and scalp. 
  • You must keep a written record of every consultation for at least six years. Each written record must be signed by the client. 

Backwash requirements 

Front wash basins or a purpose-designed neck rest cushion or pad must be used when washing a client’s hair. 

Staff training and qualifications 

Staff members must hold an appropriate nationally recognised qualification for each service and/or treatment they carry out. 

Coversure also recognises ‘shop floor’ (also known as ‘time-served’) experience (continuing professional development) and training provided by manufacturers. 

Find out more about staff training and qualifications and insurance.  

Saturday staff and assistants 

Saturday staff and assistants who wash clients’ hair must now be:

  • studying for a hairdressing qualification; or
  • independently assessed as capable of carrying out hair washing correctly; or
  • qualified in the specific task of hair washing. 

Find out more about Saturday staff and insurance. 


Your apprentice will be covered if they are supervised by a qualified member of staff or training provider. 

If they are working without supervision, they must have:

  • a unit accreditation (completion) in the service they are doing; or
  • at least one year’s training towards a recognised hair and beauty qualification; or
  • a level 1 qualification in hair and beauty.

Find out more about apprentices and insurance.  

Hair colour application

I don’t want to comply with all these rules. What can I do? 

You are free to change your insurance provider. But always make sure your policy will cover all the activities you carry out as part of your business. 

Don’t forget: by following Coversure’s insurance requirements you can showcase your professional approach to health & safety as a responsible and trusted salon or barbershop. You will also be complying with the NHBF’s professional code of conduct for Members. 

I have insurance with another provider, do the new rules apply to me? 

Many insurance providers are introducing stricter rules because of the amount of claims they are receiving. You must check with your provider if you are not sure what their requirements are. 

If you use the NHBF consultation, allergy alert and industry tests toolkit, you must check that your insurance provider covers this. 

If you use Colourstart’s allergy alert testing system, you must check that your insurance provider covers this.

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Need help with health & safety in your salon or barbershop? NHBF Members benefit from a comprehensive range of support and advice, including access to our free  helpline and a generous discount on our comprehensive health and safety toolkits. Find out more.